Writing Algeria

But what about the rest? Rather, it should be read as part of the social context from which the author arises. While this work will be likely shelved alongside global, translated works, Chroniques could be read as a bedfellow to Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts and Sarah Manguso’s Ongoingness: sharp, smart, and searingly felt, demonstrating breathtaking

Continue reading Writing Algeria

A Polish Snow Globe: On Adam Mickiewicz’s “Pan Tadeusz: The Last Foray in Lithuania”

Its implication is that, in addition to being tragic, the poet’s death is something to celebrate, since it means that the arrival of the future he has predicted can be postponed, and the all-important longing for that future maintained. In an early scene, for example, a young count, whose foppishness makes him an excellent foil

Continue reading A Polish Snow Globe: On Adam Mickiewicz’s “Pan Tadeusz: The Last Foray in Lithuania”

In the In-Between: Identity, Place, and Nuance in Anita Felicelli’s “Love Songs for a Lost Continent”

Dystopian fiction, for example, boomed for a while there; before that, there was a plethora of vampire novels; both have, by now, given way to other literary trends, such as autofiction and multigenerational novels. She was almost killed by her first husband who returned from Vietnam with PTSD and only one hand. Sita remembers clearly

Continue reading In the In-Between: Identity, Place, and Nuance in Anita Felicelli’s “Love Songs for a Lost Continent”

Taking Responsibility: An Interview with Sarah Schulman

And you’re asking people to make moral decisions about how they treat their friends in that context, and it’s impossible, because there’s a trickle-down of corruption. In fact, it reinforces it. Yeah, it’s like when I wrote my novel Shimmer, which is set during McCarthyism, and you’re in this period where the government is so

Continue reading Taking Responsibility: An Interview with Sarah Schulman

Tales of Monstrous Women: “The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter” and “European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman” by Theodora Goss

How the murders are solved is, of course, important, because one of Goss’s priorities is entertainment. Wells’s The Island of Dr. And, of course, there is Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Justine’s narrative is written in a different voice from that of Catherine Moreau, who in turn sounds different from Beatrice Rappaccini. What could have

Continue reading Tales of Monstrous Women: “The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter” and “European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman” by Theodora Goss

American Idiots, American Killers, and the American Graphic Novel

Strangelove (1964); Hugh Hefner, who closely edited some of Feiffer’s best sex comedies; and Philip Roth, with whom Feiffer entertained small audiences at parties. ¤ A decent summary of the intricate plot of The Ghost Script would require spoilers not only of the book, but of the previous installments in the trilogy. The scene is

Continue reading American Idiots, American Killers, and the American Graphic Novel

Look Again! A Conversation with Irish Artist-Novelist Sara Baume

Elkins is a scholar, writer, and artist who teaches at Macalester College. I think it was in reference to amateur railway modelers that I first came across this term. All going to plan, once installed it will be a 40-foot skyline of miniature houses carved to the scale of traditional Irish-cottage souvenirs but in the

Continue reading Look Again! A Conversation with Irish Artist-Novelist Sara Baume

The Love Story We Need

Perhaps one of the things that made romantic comedies uncool a couple of decades ago was the overwhelming homogeneity of their characters: white, pretty, straight, cisgender teenagers, twentysomethings, or — if the female character was going to have a whiff of desperation about her — thirtysomethings, mostly upper-middle or upper-upper class, with the occasional insertion

Continue reading The Love Story We Need

Why We Need Erotica

Sir Stephen gave his consent.” The impulse to conflate a protagonist’s actions with the moral perspective of the author can be extremely strong, particularly when discussing works by women. It is hard to believe that Desclos meant O’s demise to be viewed positively — or even literally. This idea is actually supported by scientific research:

Continue reading Why We Need Erotica

The Other Secret Twist: On the Political Philosophy of The Good Place

Even though she does all the feminized care and reproductive work that Kant and most other Ethics 101 philosophers overlook and partners in a nominally hetero romance with Jason, Janet is not a girl. This points system is an easy way to bring out their worst traits, like Eleanor’s tendency to dunk on people who,

Continue reading The Other Secret Twist: On the Political Philosophy of The Good Place